Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Deanna L. Cada

Interview conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Deanna is the executive director at the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board. I had a chance to interview her about the upcoming Paper Tigers Documentary held at the Egyptian Theatre on May 16th at 7:00pm. This showing is free and open to the pubic, and will include a panel discussion after the film.

Kevin: Tell me a little bit about your organization?

Deanna: My organization is a governmental organization, the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board (DCCMHB).  We are a unit of county government, authorized by statute to use tax payer dollars (from property taxes) to fund services for DeKalb County resident around mental health, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities.

Kevin: Tell me why you are looking to show this documentary?

Deanna: In partnership with the DeKalb County Juvenile Justice Council, the DeKalb County Youth Services Bureau and Hope Haven, we are committed to making DeKalb County a trauma-informed community.  That means a community that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma and to help survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Kevin: What conversations do you hope will be inspired by you showing this documentary?

Deanna: We hope to engage in conversations about behaviors we label as “bad” or “risky” that are actually a response to trauma in one’s life.  We want people to talk about recognizing that others may have different types of trauma in their lives, and that all people experience and define trauma a little differently.

Kevin: Why did you decide to partner with the Egyptian Theatre?

Deanna: We can’t imagine showcasing an event like this anywhere else.  The Egyptian Theatre is at the center of our community and therefore is a comfortable place, even to deal with uncomfortable topics.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about showing this documentary?

Deanna: Engaging others in this important work.  If we can get even 1 or 2 people to become champions of trauma informed care, we have made DeKalb County a better place to be.

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Kevin Ray

A final interview between our Executive Director Alex Nerad and our intern Kevin Ray from Northern Illinois University who was with us for the spring semester.

Alex: What was your favorite memory from the semester as an intern at the Egyptian Theatre?

Kevin: My favorite memory at the Egyptian Theatre was promoting and seeing the different shows that were put on. I especially liked the Gaelic Storm concert. Seeing the different types of audiences that went to these shows, and seeing how I helped bring in a bigger audience for these shows really helps me see the difference I was able to make as an intern here.

Alex: What surprised you most about working at the Egyptian Theatre?

Kevin: I was surprised about how much the Egyptian Theatre means to the town of DeKalb. Before this internship, I didn’t even know this theatre existed. This theatre brings in so many different types of performances for so many different types of audiences. A lot of people do not have the means to go to downtown Chicago and see big shows, but the Egyptian Theatre brings the shows to those people. So many individuals came up to me to tell me about how much the Egyptian Theatre means to them. How it gives them something to look forward to on the weekend. The influence the Egyptian Theatre has on the local economy is another thing that surprised me. You usually do not see a theatre bring such an amazing influence to a town. Local businesses like O’Leary’s Ale House benefit every time the Egyptian Theatre brings a show into town. What I was not surprised about was the amazing work Alex Nerad, Brandon Pugh, and Nora Reeves do for the theatre. They have both made the Egyptian Theatre the place to be in DeKalb, and I was very glad and honored to work alongside them this semester.

Alex: What is something you learned while interning at the Egyptian Theatre?

Kevin: I came into this internship with multiple goals. The main one was to learn the ins and the outs of a nonprofit organization. For the longest time I always wondered what they did, and what type of influence they carry. As a political science major, learning about nonprofits is a key portion that is overlooked because nonprofits are a huge part of politics. I also learned some awesome marketing and Public Relations strategy’s. I minor in Journalism, so writing the interviews every week, and interviewing the incoming performers have helped me gain some key communication and writing skills that will help me a lot of in the future.

Alex: What would you like other NIU students to know about the Egyptian Theatre?

Kevin: I want them to know that they are missing out on the Eden of entertainment known as the Egyptian Theatre. There are so many amazing shows that will peak the interest of all sorts of different students. Many students do nothing, but sit around and watch Netflix on their days off from school. I want them to know that there is a gold mine of entertainment that they are missing out on. I want them to know how amazing of a place this is so they tell their friends, and so on and so on until every student at NIU is looking forward to what the theatre brings next.

Alex: If you could see any movie or performer at the Egyptian Theatre what/who would it be?

Kevin: I would want to see Bill Burr come through DeKalb and perform at the Egyptian Theatre. The students of NIU would flock in like they just heard there are $1 subs at Jimmy Johns. I consider him to be the funniest person alive. He has filled stadiums, and arenas all over the country. You could also increase the ticket prices because of how many people would try to get tickets. It would be an amazing business opportunity. It would also be the start of something pretty awesome. He would tell his comedic friends like Adam Sandler or David Spade who do small towns shows to come through DeKalb and perform which also brings together the students and towns people to laugh and have things in common. There is no better way to reach the NIU students than through inappropriate comedy.

Alex: What plans do you have for the summer?

Kevin: This summer I will be reffing soccer and working as a camp counselor at my local YMCA. I also plan on being outside pretty much 99% of the time over the summer hanging with my friends and family relaxing after a long hard working semester. I also plan on attempting to be tan even though I will most likely burn, but that’s okay.

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Today is #GiveDeKalbCounty Day!

May 4, 2017

Today you can make a difference!

The historic Egyptian Theatre is participating in #GiveDeKalbCounty today which celebrates 24 hours of giving online where all donations are proportionally matched by a bonus pool of funds available.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we rely on your support to keep the Egyptian  Theatre thriving.

Your donation today allows us to:

  • Provide the theatre at discounted rates for non-profit organizations
  • Open the doors of the theatre for free multiple times a year for community events
  • Preserve the beautiful historic Egyptian Theatre that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places
  • Provide a community jewel for all ages to enjoy
  • Protect the amazing history that has taken place since the doors opened in 1929
  • Continue to be the gathering place for the community
  • Provide significant cultural and economic impact on the community
  • ​​​​​​​Continue to host over 30 different community organizations each year

Donations of any amount are appreciated and DO make a difference!

You have until midnight tonight (May 4) to participate

In person donations (cash or check only) will be accepted at the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave. Sycamore, IL from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on May 4. These donations must be “in person, by the person,” meaning that the person writing the check must be the individual to deliver the donation.

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Tricia Schumacher

Interview Conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Tricia Schumacher is the Coordinator for Art Education for DeKalb School District. I had a chance to interview her about the upcoming DeKalb Student Art Show held at the Egyptian Theatre May 9th-11th.

Kevin: Tell me a little bit about the DeKalb Student Art Show?

Tricia: The DeKalb District Art Show is a huge art show that celebrates all the hard work and accomplishments of the DeKalb Art students. We feature work from all our schools including grades K-12.

Kevin: How long have you guys been doing the show?

Tricia: We have been doing the District Art show for at least 15 years; we have had the show at the Egyptian since 2007 .

Kevin: Why did you choose to host it at the Egyptian for so many years?

Tricia: We moved the show to the Egyptian because we had outgrown the space we had been using. We had been using the library at the old High School building (now Huntley Middle School). We knew we had to find a new space because we could not accommodate  the crowds that came out to see the artwork. People waited in line for an hour just to get into the room!! We wanted a space that would be large enough to accommodate us but we also wanted a prestigious space, a space that would make the children feel special because their work was hung there. We also wanted a location that was central to all our families. The Egyptian was a perfect choice!

Kevin: What kind of response have they gotten through the years about having the Art show at the Egyptian Theatre?

Tricia: The response has always been overwhelmingly positive. The Egyptian is so well taken care of and the staff is always friendly and helpful. I am proud to be part of a community that supports the arts and has such a historically rich building that is a resource. Even after the new high school building was constructed our families were all grateful that we kept the district show at the Egyptian.

May 9-11, 2017 5 PM – 8 PM
Free & open to the public

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Susan Graham

Interview Conducted by: Kevin Ray -Egyptian Theatre Intern

Susan is the Director of Annie, Jr. and Vice President of CCT. I had a chance to interview her about the upcoming Annie Jr. musical being held on April 27-30th at the Egyptian Theatre.

Kevin: Tell me a little bit about the Children’s Community Theatre?

Susan: Children’s Community Theatre is dedicated to developing and fostering an interest in dramatic arts among people of all ages, but especially children and young adults. For over 50 years, CCT has presented many great musicals for community children. I think Children’s Community Theatre provides a fantastic opportunity for kids in our community. I am so grateful to be a member of the organization.

Kevin: How many people are in the cast, and where are they from?

Susan: The cast consists of 86 kids from the DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa, and surrounding communities.

Kevin: What are the ages in the cast?

Susan: The cast ages range from 7-18 years old.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about the Children’s Community Theatre performing at the Egyptian Theatre?

Susan: Getting to perform at the Egyptian Theatre, such a large and historic venue, is a great opportunity for the kids. They always get excited to be there, especially performing for their classmates, family, and friends. I feel blessed to be a part of their experience.

Kevin: What do you hope the audience walks away with after the show?

Susan: I hope the audience walks away having had a truly enjoyable time watching the performance. And, hopefully they gain a greater appreciation for theater and the enormously talented group of children we have in the community. And maybe, the kids in the audience will decide to join us on-stage next year!

Tickets are still available, Click picture below to purchase tickets.

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